Dr. Honora Norton, RCSL Public Image Director
Rotary Club of Sun Lakes (RCSL) recently named Tracy Phillips, a 7th grade science teacher at Santan Junior High School, the Club’s February 2022 Teacher of the Month. The monthly teacher awards are sponsored jointly by Rotary Club of Sun Lakes, Trust Bank, and Earnhardt Auto Centers.
Tracy started his working career early in life. After high school, Tracy tried college for a couple of years, but due to the cost associated with school, he enlisted in the Navy as a chemist for the nuclear reactors. After the Navy, Tracy was able to finish a chemical engineering degree at ASU. He then worked in the chemical coatings and semiconductor industries as both a process engineer and a senior level engineering manager. Teaching became a second career choice for Tracy. He believes junior high school is a transitional period for kids and encourages kids to take responsibility for their own actions by helping them to gain their independence, learn a positive work ethic, and grow into responsible adults.
In a statement from Santan Junior High School principal Mary Ann Rezzonico, “Tracy gives his all to the students in his classroom. He provides engaging lessons with real-world application and draws on his engineering and naval experience to add relevance to the content. He is passionate about his subject matter and the students he teaches. He truly enjoys teaching and is always willing to do the extras for the benefit of his students. This year Tracy took on teaching a pilot Honors Science course to provide further opportunities for students wanting to accelerate in this area.”
Tracy not only gives his all to his students in the classroom, but he has also dedicated a countless number of hours to establishing the Santan Junior High Mountain Biking Club, which has grown to over 25 members, including a few special needs students. He is a former competitive cyclist and shares his love for the sport. Tracy’s classroom looks like a bike shop with students congregating and discussing the ins and outs of the sport. He spends his time not only after school, but also on the weekends taking his students to bike trails all over the Valley. He has recruited numerous parent volunteers who share his passion for the sport. Tracy has even taken it a step further and helped establish mountain bike clubs at neighboring high schools to ensure his students leaving Santan will have the same opportunity during their high school years.
Tracy is the epitome of a dedicated educator who always says “yes” when asked to do something for the benefit of students. He is selfless with his time and talent and is truly deserving of the Rotary Club of Sun Lakes Rotary Teacher of the Month award.
For more information about the Rotary Club of Sun Lakes, see www.sunlakesrotary.com.